Sector Ste-Marie-aux-Mines

Ste-Marie-aux-Mines is a small city which was just behind the German frontlines, which ran through the Vosges towards the Swiss border.

On top of a hill near the Col de Sainte-Marie many bunkers and tunnels can be found. There are shelters hacked out in the hill, a plate with text left by on of the battalions which stayed in the sector, and on top are two blinkstelle, or signal bunkers. A cable lift to transport men and supplies went to the top, of which the machine bunker just below the top is left.

The first defence work called Vorwerk looks towards the front lines and the valley. It comprises a bunker and to the left and right a breastwork made of concrete.

Just beyond the defence work another bunker or shelter can be found

On the top of the hill is another bunker which was not accessible. In front of it is what looks like a table for a machine gun.

On the side of the hill, overlooking the valley, another small bunker can be found.

Still further on is this text made by the Landsturm Infanterie Bataillon Passau 1. They spend time in this sector from October 1914 until January 1916. They also left a beautiful mosaic on another hill nearby.

The plate was destroyed some years ago by vandals, but has been replaced with a new one. It reads:

Waffe und Werkzeug
Kämpften den Kampf
Schuten den Schutzwall
Der Heimat zum Hüter
Hielten den Bachwacht
Dem Welschen zur Wehr.

There seems to be a mistake in the text on the new plate. On an original photo (which cannot be posted here due to copyrights) it does not say ‘Hielten die Bachwacht’ but ‘Hielten die Hochwacht.

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